Maxine and Skeeter Skoda are pictured after Skeeter was inducted into the Iowa State Bowling Hall of Fame for meritorious service.

A way of life for sale

Skoda family trying to sell bowling alley business they bought in 1958

Bowlaway Lanes owner Maxine Skoda turned to her son Dale and daughters Sue Huffman and Jo Vaala.    “Remember how we used to have to oil the lanes? she asked. They all moaned. Apparently they did.    “You used a pump sprayer  — like the kind they used in barns to spray cows,” continued Skoda. “Then there was this giant cloth roller thing,” added Vaala.    It wasn’t a pleasant chore, but judging by the smiles on all the faces, it was a pleasant memory. Like many of the memories the group had of raising their families around bowling.    And although many of the chores are easier now — the lanes are oiled automatically by a machine, for example — there’s still more work running the lanes than the families want to tackle. Until recently, the upcoming league season was in doubt. The business has been for sale even before  Adrian “Skeeter” Skoda died in 2009.    “We were definitely not going to open this fall until about a week ago,” said Vaala in early August. But then Skoda’s grandson Todd and wife Bobbi committed to running the facility.    “We hate to see it closed, the weekends have been really good,” Huffman noted. “But it’s hard to get people to commit to a league.”    When Skeeter and Maxine Skoda bought the business from Leo Kelly in 1958, the alley was downtown, where First Choice Realty is now located. “We had six lanes and people pin setters,” said Skoda. It was so narrow — the outside lanes were up against the wall — the guys that set pins had to go outside and go around to the back of the building. Levi Patrie set the pins, so did the Randall kids.”For the full story, please see the August 19 Tribune.

New Hampton Tribune

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